Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

What Does It Take to Make an Internet Hit? (Check Out These Videos!)

One of the more interesting things about my interview yesterday with Mike Volpi of Joost–Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here–was our discussion about what kind of original and high-quality material will be created on the Web and how popular it will be.

It’s certainly been a hit-or-miss proposition, since the Internet was popularized–mostly misses, actually. Beyond viral phenoms from the Dancing Baby to Mentos and Coke, there really is little there that has taken off in a big and lasting way online.

Many, big and small, have tried, but none have truly succeeded. Most recently, Yahoo pulled the plug on Hollywood player Lloyd Braun, for example, who was brought in to make Web hits.

But that has not stopped him–Braun’s got a new deal with Pepsi to create original online content. Over at AOL, which has a lot of history in this arena, there is much stuff in the works.

And sites like Funny Or Die–which uses more celebrities, like a recent one with Bill Murray–pop up daily.

One interesting effort is social network Bebo with its recent series called “KateModern,” an honest version of “LonelyGirl15″, both of which are series focused on attractive self-consciously self-conscious twentysomething women and their attractive friends.

And today, in a project with great similarity to these efforts, MySpace unveiled an exclusive partnership with well-known television producers Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, creators of such iconic shows as “My So-Called Life” and “thirtysomething,” for an original Web series called “quarterlife.”

The 36-episode series–there will also be a social-network component, natch–is about a group of attractive twentysomethings, with what appears to be, yep, another self-consciously self-conscious central female character who video blogs about them.

Sort of like hit BoomTown’s reality series–well, a hit with my Mom!–that is also posted below. We could use some self-consciousness, for sure, plus we’re much lumpier.

Here are some videos for you to peruse:

FCU With Bill Murray

FCU with Bill Murray

KateModern


Lonelygirl15

Quarterlife


AllThingsD.com & D Unplugged


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald